Representation and Surveys

Representation and Feedback

Being part of UCL's doctoral community means being engaged in a dialogue with us about your experience at UCL - letting us know what you particularly value and things that you would like to see improved. Research students have different needs to other communities of students, in some ways much closer to early career research staff. It's important that your voices help shape and influence the work of departments, faculties, and UCL as a whole.

There are many more or less informal ways of letting us know your views, for example by speaking to your supervisory team and members of your departmental, faculty and Professional Services staff (your Departmental Graduate Tutors or departmental administrative staff for example). There are also structured and formal ways of feeding in your views to the way UCL works and supports research students.

Research Student Academic Representatives

Research Student Academic Representatives

Student academic representation at UCL is conducted in partnership with our Students' Union. Each department appoints Research Student Representatives to represent each distinct community of their research students. These communities might be based on department, specialism, physical location, or other attributes. Within each community, there should be at least one representative for early years students (years 1-2) and one for later years students (years 3-4).

Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCCs) are meetings for academic representatives to share feedback with staff, to develop solutions to students' concerns, and to prioritise areas for improvement. Some departments have a single SSCC, while others split this into different groups of programmes or levels of study. Most commonly, departments operate both an undergraduate and postgraduate SSCC.

You can find further information on Academic Student Representatives, including contact information for the Research Student Representatives in your area, more on what the reps do, and how to get involved yourself, on the Students' Union website

A short video from the Students' Union outlines the key benefits to being a Course or Research Student Representative and what's involved.

Regulations relating to Student Academic Representation are contained in UCL's Academic Manual. The Union also produces a range of useful Student Academic Representation Resources for staff.

Students' Union Postgraduate Association and PG Sabbatical Officer

Students' Union UCL and Postgraduate Students' Officer

Students' Union UCL exists to make more happen at UCL, and they've been doing it for 125 years. UCL is a majority postgraduate university and the Union has more than 20,000 postgraduate members. They know that postgrad life is different and are set up to support you throughout your time here. Which is why we have a dedicated elected Postgraduate Students' Officer, Viktória Makai for 2021/22, and Faculty Representatives in each faculty, with one representing research students.

The Union works hard to bridge the gap between your academic and non-academic life. Conferences, events, society activities, and volunteering opportunities in London are all organised by the Union. We also find ways for you to share your work with your peers from a range of disciplines; look out for the 3 Minute Thesis competition. We've just launched the Community Research Initiative for Students, where we connect community organisations undertaking research projects and UCL Postgraduates about to start their dissertations. This puts your research into real-world use.

Further information

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

Every two years UCL takes part in the national Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) usually from mid February until mid May. PRES is a national survey, co-ordinated by the national body for improving teaching and learning in Universities, the Advance HE. The survey is a major vehicle for our research student community to tell us about their experience; it ask asks questions about key areas such as: supervision; resources; research skills and professional development.

The results are published on the Doctoral School's website and discussed by the key UCL committee looking after the standards of research degree provision, Research Degrees Committee, and with the various stakeholders (for example UCL's faculties, the UCL Student Union) to make sure we identify and implement an action plan. The Doctoral School uses the information gained to consider how to make improvements at UCL, and also to inform our work for the wider research student community through national bodies like Vitae, or LERU (the League of European Research Universities). Please see our survey pages for the results and action plans for the 2015, 2017 and 2019 UCL PRES surveys:

UCL took part in PRES 2021; the survey run from 1 March to 16 April.